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Five First Steps for Successful Content Marketing

According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), we’re now living in a world where businesses need to become media companies in order to successfully compete for business. This is especially true when the economy is struggling. The CMI’s research shows that 70% of companies surveyed are planning to spend more money on content marketing this year than they did last year and they’re using an average of 13 different online channels to tell their company story. 42% of survey respondents post new content daily or multiple times a week.

More than half of survey respondents found their biggest challenge with content marketing lay around producing enough engaging content.

So content marketing doesn’t look as if it’s going to go away, although I can pretty much guarantee that it is going to continue to evolve. If you haven’t jumped into this particular pool yet (or even if you have), it might be helpful to take my “Content Marketing QuickStart” survey and ask yourself:

  1. What are your objectives for your content marketing strategy? (e.g. do you want to generate more revenue, increase engagement with potential customers, influence opinion, share your philosophy, support your brand, position your company representatives as thought leaders in your industry, etc.)
  2. How are you going to measure success? (e.g. increase visits to your website, grow your database, increase downloads of an ebook on a particular topic, increase sales of a particular product or service, increase followers on your LinkedIn page, etc.)
  3. Who is your ideal customer? (there’s that question again: what business are they in, what position do they hold in that company, how old are they, where do they live or work, what education or training have they acquired, what pain are they in around the work they do, etc.)
  4. What problems does your business solve for them? (e.g. do you save them time, energy or money, clarify problem areas in their work, decrease stress in their world somehow, etc.)
  5. What content could you provide for them that would provide value and show you are focused on helping them? (e.g. a white paper that explains changes in an industry or process, a video that demonstrates how to do something more effectively, a webinar that reviews a process or procedure, a blog series that explains changes in an industry or piece of legislation, etc.)

I find that when people start looking at their content as a powerful tool, rather than a mysterious expense, they start to realize how valuable it is. A content marketing strategy will answer all of the questions above, plus set out a schedule for adding to your existing content holdings at regular intervals. For example, my clients usually have a schedule where we write one blog post or one article weekly, we produce one Slideshare presentation a month, we post to our social media sites on a regular basis and we review our Google Analytics regularly so we know which pieces of content are generating the most interest. That allows us to fine tune our content to match visitor interest.

Would like some guidance around the development of your online content? I’d love to lend a hand! Email me and let’s start a conversation about how you can make your content work more productively for your bottom line.


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